The filing deadlines for the 2012 elections are more than a year away, and Election Day isn't until Nov. 6, 2012.
But already some local candidates -- all incumbents -- are positioning themselves for the next campaign
Freshman state Reps. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, Greg Steube, R-Bradenton, and Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota -- who are barely halfway through their first legislative session -- have already filed for re-election. So have state Rep. Daryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, and state Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, according to the Florida Division of Elections.
They were all beaten to the punch by Bill Galvano, who on June 12, 2009 -- when he was still a state representative -- filed to run for the Florida Senate seat now held by Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, who cannot run for re-election because of term limits.
Between when he filed and Dec. 31, 2010, Galvano raised more than $216,000 in campaign contributions, and spent more than $72,000 -- giving him a big head start on any prospective rivals, according to the Division of Elections.
At the county level, Manatee commissioners Larry Bustle and Donna Hayes have filed for re-election to their respective seats. And so has Sheriff Brad Steube and Clerk of Courts R.B. "Chips" Shore, according to the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office.
Manatee County Commissioner John Chappie, whose seat also is up for election next year, has not yet filed.
But still has plenty of time.
The qualifying period for state and county-level positions isn't until June 18-22, 2012.